Author Interview: Liz Talley

So one of the reasons I haven’t been doing much with the blog of late is because I’ve spent the last month hanging out at the Winter Writing Festival put on by the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood.  I’ve been getting tons of writing and editing done, and it’s great fun to hang out in the chat room with other writers.

One of the writers I met there is Liz Talley. I won copies of the first two books in her Morning Glory series, and they are adorable! I did no work the day I picked up the first one since I couldn’t stop reading. Liz has a new novella in the series–Prince Not Quite Charming–which released on Valentine’s Day.

Welcome to the blog, Liz, and congratulations on your first indie publishing venture!

Tell us a bit about you. Where do you live, and how long have you been writing?

I live in North Louisiana and I’ve been writing for eleven years.

What inspired you to write this book?

I often listen to country music and one day when I was singing along to Blake Shelton’s “Boys Round Here” I felt convicted that I needed to write a good ol’ boy with a big truck and a slightly over-inflated ego. Then give him a sharp city-slicker to deal with.

What does your writing process look like? 

I’m a hybrid writer who is much more organic than relying on a spreadsheet. I like an outline and that’s about it.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

Laundry and baseball games 🙂

What are you working on now?

I’m writing on a stand-alone novel set in South Carolina involving three friends and a past mistake. I also have the last book in the Morning Glory series on the back burner and I’m also contemplating a Christmas novella – A Charming Christmas.

Who is your favorite literary hero? Heroine? Villain?

I’ll have to go with Jamie Fraser from Outlander for hero. Heroine – Bridget Jones. I think. There are so many, but I relate to her and she amuses me. But only in the first book. Not a fan of the waffling second and third ones.

How many books do you have under the proverbial bed? Will they ever see the light of day?

Two full-length Regency romances, including my Golden Heart finaling manuscript. Probably won’t ever make an appearance but that’s okay. They are very dear to me because they gave birth to what I am today.

Other than “butt in chair,” what piece of advice would you give to an aspiring author?

Protect your story. It’s yours. No one else’s so you own that and don’t change it for anyone unless he or she is a trusted editor who knows more than you do.

About Liz’s latest book:

A city girl can survive…

Or at least that’s what New Yorker Frances Genovese hopes when she agrees to stay in Morning Glory, Mississippi for a few weeks after her brother’s wedding. Though she may not know much about small-town living, she does know a thing or two about the new restaurant her brother’s building. But she didn’t bargain for a big country boy naysaying her vision. And she darn sure didn’t expect to be so attracted to the infuriating contractor. 

Clem Aiken knows two things: what it means to be a country boy and the target market for the new eatery. When he and Frances clash on her ideas, he figures there’s one thing to do – teach the sophisticated beauty what it’s like to live in a southern small town. Frances reluctantly gives Clem three days to change her mind about the restaurant design. After all, how hard can it be to bait a hook, fry chicken or go honky tonkin’?

Excerpt:

Someone cleared his throat, and she glanced up to find the man who’d poured a pitcher of water over her head a few nights ago. “You.”

“Me,” he said with a knowing grin.

“You’re Clemson Aiken?”

“At your service.” He executed a slight bow. “But call me Clem. And you’re welcome for saving your life the other night.”

Frances frowned, tapping her pen against the notepad. “Saving my life or trying to drown me?”

“You were on fire.” His brown eyes twinkled. She’d never seen eyes twinkle, but this guy had that going on. He was also tall. Six three. Or maybe six four. Tall drink of water with linebacker shoulders and a chiseled jaw. Her girl parts should be tingling, but the fact that he was a bit too full of himself put a stop to that. She’d heard the rumors about him. He was a ladies’ man, tipping girls into the back of his truck, romancing them with cheap wine and overpracticed lines. That was enough to put her off any twitch, tingle, or blip.

You can find Prince Not Quite So Charming at Amazon.

More About Liz:

A finalist in both RWA’s prestigious Golden Heart and RITA contests, Liz Talley loves staying home in her jammies writing emotional contemporary romance. Her first book starred a spinster librarian – Vegas Two Step – and debuted in June 2010. Since that time, Liz has published twenty-one more books with Harlequin, Berkeley and Montlake, reaching number one in kindle romance with her latest series. Her stories are set in the South where the tea is sweet, the summers are hot and the men are hotter. Liz lives in Louisiana with her childhood sweetheart, two handsome children, three dogs and a mean kitty. You can visit Liz at www.liztalleybooks.com or follow her on Twitter or Facebook to learn more about her upcoming books.

 

Author Interview – Marilyn Baron

Today I welcome Marilyn Baron, whose latest book, The Widows’ Gallery, was released by The Wild Rose Press on February 11.IMG_1172 (2)

Tell us a bit about you. Where do you live, and how long have you been writing?

A native of Miami, Florida, I’m a corporate public relations consultant in Roswell, Georgia, in north Atlanta. I’ve wanted to be a writer all my life but I’ve been seriously writing fiction for 10 years. I’ve had a long career in public relations, primarily with AT&T before I formed my own PR business. All of my client work involves writing corporate communications ranging from news releases and newsletters, to ads and annual reports, speeches and special events.

I write in a variety of genres, including: humorous coming-of-middle-age women’s fiction; historical romantic thrillers; romantic suspense in a psychic suspense series; and fantasy for The Wild Rose Press. I also write dark and humorous supernatural short stories for TWB Press. I’ve written three books with my sister, an artist in Florida, including a musical about Alzheimer’s called Memory Lane.  I’ve won or finaled in writing awards in single title, suspense romance, novel with strong romantic elements and paranormal romance.

What inspired you to write The Widows’ Gallery?

I love using art and art theft as themes in my books. I studied art history in Florence, Italy, in college where I fell in love with my favorite painting—The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli—which hangs in the Uffizi Gallery. So, in The Widows’ Gallery, I decided to make that painting the centerpiece of my story. The cover art is also reminiscent of that painting. Last year, my husband and I took an anniversary cruise to the Mediterranean. All these things gelled and I decided to set part of my book in Florence, Italy, and on a cruise ship, before the main characters arrived in the fictional town of Lobster Cove, Maine, where the Lobster Cove series for The Wild Rose Press is set.

What does your writing process look like?

I’m not advising you follow my lead, but I am a dyed-in-the-wool pantser. I don’t do outlines or story boards. Everything is in my head. The first thing I do is come up with a title that inspires me and character names I fall in love with. Then I write the opening. Often I’ll know the ending before I start. It’s the middle that is the biggest challenge. Things will always change along the way. I revise as I go along. I also like to write the blurb before I start the book. I do my best writing and thinking when I’m relaxed and staring out at the ocean. When I get ideas, I put them in the Notes section of my cell phone for future reference or write them on scraps of paper which I proceed to lose.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I am an avid reader. I’m in two book clubs and I volunteer on the Roswell Reads Steering Committee for my local library. I enjoy going to movies, eating Italian food, traveling and hovering over my two daughters. I’m in the middle of planning a wedding for one of them now. I often set my stories in places I’ve visited, including Bermuda, Australia and Italy, where I spent six months studying in Florence during my senior year in college.

What are you working on now?

On March 20, Killer Cruise, the third book in my Psychic Crystal Mystery Series, will be released from The Wild Rose Press. It also takes place on a cruise ship and one of the themes is art theft. It’s murder, mystery, and mayhem combined with high jinks on the high seas. The novel even features a vampire.

On February 15, TWB Press released my fifth dark and humorous supernatural short story, The Files Death Forgot.  The Grim Reaper with a failing memory, a craving for chocolate chip cookies and a penchant for old movies: Could this agent of death inadvertently save the world from mass annihilation??

Later this year, The Wild Rose Press will release my second Lobster Cove book, a fantasy called Someday My Prints Will Come.

My current work in progress is called Landlocked, where an inexperienced South Florida realtor with weather issues, tries to sell her widowed grandmother’s rural property on an isolated Western North Carolina mountaintop only to discover the tract is landlocked, and therefore, unsalable. The book features a missing artist, two romances and a serial killer.

How many books do you have under the proverbial bed? Will they ever see the light of day?

That’s funny because only one of my manuscripts is still under the bed and I think it’s going to stay there. I don’t give up so I have managed to resurrect and revise all of my under-the-bed manuscripts and they’ve all been published or are about to be published.

How do you come up with your character names?

Anywhere and everywhere. My eyes and ears are always open. If I hear a name I like, I’ll write it down. I’ve come up with character names in the gift wrapping department at Bloomingdales, at the Georgia Aquarium, my hair salon, and when I’m out to dinner. There are no limits. The cosmos is constantly sending you messages. You just have to absorb them.

Name one thing about you that most people don’t know.

I was born without a sense of smell.

Other than “butt in chair,” what piece of advice would you give to an aspiring author?

Finish the book. You can always correct a bad manuscript but there’s nothing you can do about a blank page.

What book are you reading now?

Edge of Eternity by Ken Follett

The WidoTheWidows_Gallery_w9270_750ws’ Gallery, Lobster Cove Series,
by Marilyn Baron
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Romance

Childless heiress Abigail Adams Longley and three other widows on a Mediterranean cruise bond over a Renaissance masterpiece in Florence, Italy, and find love, friendship and joy in their joint venture to open an art gallery at the Longley mansion in Lobster Cove, Maine.

Since the death of her husband, Abigail has been lonely and drifting in a house that’s too big and a town that’s too small. When she literally runs into sexy widower and whale-watching excursion captain Tack Garrity on the dock, she’s entranced by his adorable five-year-old daughter.

But will Tack, who has harbored a secret crush on Abigail for almost two decades, be able to capture her heart? A secret pact her husband made with Tack could either tear them apart or bring them closer together and change their lives forever.

Excerpt:

There is a popular but anonymous Italian saying coined in the late 1700s, “See Naples and die!” Well, the cruise ship had just pulled away from Naples Harbor, and Victoria Dare was about to make that phrase a reality.

Victoria stared into the watery wake of the massive floating hotel. The superliner sliced through the water like a sharp knife through a hot buttered blueberry muffin. Weird she should think of food at a time like this. But she was going to miss blueberry muffins. And crispy bacon. And pancakes. And steaming hot chocolate, for that matter. Maybe it wasn’t too late to change her mind and go to the dining room for one final breakfast—a Last Supper, of sorts.

Available from The Wild Rose Press.

Find Marilyn at www.marilynbaron.com.

Author Interview: Jana Richards!

Today on the blog I’d like to welcome Jana Richards. Jana is a fellow Wild Rose author, with several books to her credit. Her latest, One More Second Chance, is a contemporary romance set in the fictional town of Lobster Cove.Jana Richards

Tell us a bit about you. Where do you live, and how long have you been writing?

I live in Winnipeg, Canada, which is the geographical center of North America. We like to say we live in the heart of the continent. I’ve been writing for a loooong time, since the early 1990s. But I wasn’t published until 2007.

What inspired you to write this book?

I love small town stories, and I had already started writing One More Second Chance when The Wild Rose Press sent out a call for stories set in the fictional Maine town of Lobster Cove. The series features multiple authors and several romance genres. Since Lobster Cove is a small, close-knit town, I thought it was a perfect fit for my story.

What does your writing process look like? 

I’m a plotter. I create character sketches for my main characters and I write a rambling synopsis of what I think the story will be before I begin writing. The character sketches help me to figure out who my characters are and what motivates them, and the synopsis tells me whether I’ve got a viable plot.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

When I’m not writing I work at my part-time day job. I do yoga and Pilates, though I probably don’t exercise as much as I should. I like going to movies and concerts and live theatre, and of course I love reading!

What are you working on now?

I’m actually working on a few things right now. One of the things I’m in the process of developing is a series about the characters in a small North Dakota town. (I told you I like small town stories!) The first book in the series is completed and is called Child of Mine. Lauren Walsh suddenly finds herself widowed and pregnant. But her late husband is not the father of her child. Will she have the courage to tell the people in her small town that the baby’s father is her late husband’s brother?

The next book in the series is Lauren’s brother Garrett’s story. Garrett returns from Afghanistan not sure where he belongs now that he’s no longer fit for military service. In book three, Garrett and Lauren’s sister Charlotte struggles to forget what happened to her in college.

How many books do you have under the proverbial bed? Will they ever see the light of day?

I have two or three books ‘under my bed,’ but I don’t think they’ll ever see the light of day. I think I’m a different writer than I was when I wrote those books years ago. I’m more experienced and hopefully I write a much better story now than I did back then.

Share a photo of your writing space.

Okay, here it is. Brace yourself!

Before-my messy office

 

Neat freak or not so much?

You’ve seen the picture of my office. I think the answer is ‘Not so much.’

Other than “butt in chair,” what piece of advice would you give to an aspiring author?

If writing is truly what you want to do, don’t give up. Only perseverance will get that book written!

Anything else you’d like to share?

My new contemporary romance, One More Second Chance, released on February 6, 2015. I’m having a two-week excerpt blog tour with each stop on the tour having an exclusive excerpt. If you’d like to follow along, check out the schedule on my blog. Thanks for having me on your blog, Marin!

Thanks for joining me, Jana! Good luck with your new release!

 One More Second Chance, by Jana Richardsperf5.000x8.000.indd

Dr. Alex Campbell has an agenda—finish his contract to provide medical services in Maine, pay off his medical school debt, and head back to his real life in San Diego. But when he meets Julia, all his carefully laid plans are put in jeopardy.

Julia Stewart, Lobster Cove’s high school principal, swears she’ll never let another man drag her away from the home she loves. Her aging parents need her, and the Cove is where she wants to raise her daughter. When her mother’s illness brings her and the big city doctor closer together, panic sets in. Her marriage taught her men don’t stay.

Can she put aside the heartaches of the past and trust Alex enough to accept the love he’s offering? Or will her fear of abandonment mean she’ll send him away forever?

Excerpt:

They drank their tea in silence, but the silence didn’t feel awkward. Julia felt soothed, the stress slowly leaving her body. Perhaps her grandmother had been onto something. The tea seemed to be working.

She finished the last of it and set down the cup. “I should be going. I left Ava with Tracy, and she’s probably hungry by now.”

Julia got to her feet and headed to the front door, with Alex following her. “Thanks for the tea, and for listening. I guess I needed both today.”

“Anytime. Seriously, Julia, anytime you need to talk, about anything, give me a call.”

She wondered if he was speaking as a doctor, as a friend, or as a man. Which one did she want him to be?

“Thank you.”

“I’ll try to keep an eye out for your folks, see if there’s anything I can do for them.”

She was touched by his offer. “I really appreciate that, but I know how busy you are.”

He waved away her concern. “It’s no big deal. I appreciate my grandmother’s neighbors checking in on her, and I’d be happy to do the same.”

He really did understand how she felt. “In that case, thank you.”

She opened the front door and stepped outside. Turning to Alex, she smiled. His thick hair had begun to dry, and the dark strands gleamed in the spring sunshine. Her breath caught in her throat at his beauty.

“Bye, Alex.”

“Bye. Take care.”

Julia hurried down the steps and across the lawn to her car. An appreciation for his looks was as far she could take any relationship with him. Her life was too complicated, too full already. And she would never get involved with a man who planned to leave Lobster Cove in only a few more months.

Find Jana Here:
Website: http://www.janarichards.com
Blog: http://janarichards.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JanaRichardsAuthor
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/JanaRichards
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/janarichards
Newsletter Signup: http://www.eepurl.com/m3UnT
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2892274Jana_Richards
Google+ Profile:  https://plus.google.com/100820406211390323245

Buy Links:
Amazon  
The Wild Rose Press

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